Odegard Leads Next Gen Materials for Space Vehicles

GregOdegardTech professor Greg Odegard is heading a Space Technology Research Institute, which is being funded by a five-year, $15 million grant from NASA. That group, the Institute for Ultra-Strong Composites by Computational Design (US-COMP), is looking to develop a lighter, stronger structural material made of carbon nanotubes for space travel — first a return to the moon, then a manned mission to Mars.

What NASA’s looking for is materials that are even stronger and lighter than what we have now, so we can do that. —Greg Odegard

Read more at the Mining Gazette, by Garrett Neese.

NASA Taps Tech Professor to Lead $15 Million Space Technology Research Institute

Bill Predebon, chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics, is thrilled about the NASA institute grant. “This is a major accomplishment by Dr. Odegard and Michigan Tech,” he said. “Greg has the experience and research accomplishments needed to lead such a large multi-university and industry institute, having been a PI on a NSF Industry/University Cooperative Research Center and an internationally recognized leader in composite material modeling.”

Read more at Michigan Tech News, by Jennifer Donovan.


Andrew Barnard to Present at GAMIC Finals

GAMICIf challenged to quiet the loud auxiliary power unit on a large Abrams tank to protect our war fighters, would minute carbon nanotubes immediately come to mind?

Probably not but that is exactly the solution that Andrew Barnard (ME-EM) will present at the finals of the ninth Annual Global Automotive & Mobility Innovation Challenge (GAMIC) taking place at the SAE World Congress in the Cobo Center, Detroit on April 4, 2017.

Barnard successfully competed in the semi-final round last week. His technology, coaxial active exhaust noise control system, is based on using a thin film of carbon nanotubes as a thermophone, a loudspeaker that makes sound using surface temperature variation instead of a moving diaphragm. What that means is no moving parts, which results in higher reliability. “Carbon nanotubes make this possible because they can oscillate their surface temperature almost instantaneously to produce canceling sound waves,” he explains.

Andrew Barnard
Andrew Barnard

Barnard was encouraged to participate in GAMIC through his involvement in Michigan Tech’s Michigan Translational Research & Commercialization (MTRAC) program for Applied Advanced Materials.

MTRAC is sponsored by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and the Michigan Strategic Fund to help University faculty fast-track their technology to a commercial stage.

MTRAC Commercialization Program Director John Diebel says “Andrew’s technology seemed like an excellent fit within the scope of transportation technologies GAMIC wanted to showcase and support. There is a lot of potential recognition and follow-on support to be gained by the exposure he can get presenting at the SAE Congress so he was game to compete.”

Diebel noted “Preparation alone for such an event can be very helpful as it forces an inventor to think a little deeper about the customer perspective on the technology and how to communicate the benefits. These competitions better prepare our faculty for success in obtaining development funding.”

GAMIC organizers link each semi-finalist with mentors who help them prepare for the competition. These mentors have wide contacts in the automotive industry who can provide general networking support besides just helping to refine an inventor’s message.

Barnard was coached by Diebel, Steve Tokarz, Michigan Tech mentor-in-residence, Christophe Gaillard, principal engineer at Tier 1 automotive supplier Aisin, and Michael Brooks, a consultant in business development for material based technologies.

Besides a cash award and in-kind business development services, winners of the final competition in four categories will present to automotive manufacturers and suppliers at the SAE TechHub on April 6, in Detroit.

Barnard, an assistant professor, came to Michigan Tech from Penn State University in 2014 where he was a research associate in the Applied Research Laboratory. Barnard earned a bachelor’s and master’s in mechanical engineering at Michigan Tech and a PhD in Acoustics from Penn State. He is a member of the Acoustical Society of America and a board-certified member and Director of the Institute for Noise Control Engineering USA (INCE-USA). His research areas include Advanced Measurements and Signal Processing, Carbon Nanotube Thermophones, Acoustic Intensity and Vector Sensors, Room Acoustics, Acoustic Material Characterization, Outdoor Sound Propagation, Underwater Acoustics, and more.

More information on GAMIC can be found online.

Product Prototype
Product Prototype

First generation prototype of the carbon nanotube coaxial active exhaust noise control loudspeaker. The exhaust gas flows through the pipe, as usual, and the CNT fibers (black cylinder) wrap around the pipe and generate destructive acoustic interference to cancel noise from the engine.

Tank
Tank

Pohlod Receives GLIAC Commissioner’s Award

Michigan Tech volleyball player Rachel Pohlod was one of six female recipients of the 2016 Fall GLIAC Commissioner’s Award the league announced Friday.

A total of 12 student athletes (six male and six female) that excel academically and on the fields of play are presented after the fall, winter, and spring athletic seasons with the award.

Pohlod is a senior setter from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She is one of only three players in Tech history to record more than 2,000 assists and 1,000 digs in her career.

Pohlod was a CoSIDA Academic All-America Second Team selection and All-GLIAC First Team pick in 2016 after career highs in assists (1,238), digs (361), blocks (27), assists in a match (68) and digs in a match (27).

Pohlod was a three-time member of the GLIAC All-Academic Excellence Team, holding a 3.99 grade-point average in mechanical engineering. She was also a GLIAC Honorable Mention choice in 2015 and team Co-MVP in 2016.

To read the full story and find out more about Michigan Tech sports, visit michigantechhuskies.com.

By Krista Siler, Assistant Director of Athletic Communication.


Andrew Barnard’s Exhaust System Competing in Semifinals

GAMIC

Andrew Barnard’s (ME-EM) CNT active exhaust system was chosen to compete in the semifinals of the Global Automotive and Mobility Innovation Competition (GAMIC) Feb. 23, 2017, in Detroit. Graduate student Suraj Prabhu is also working on the project.

Presented by SAE International and the MI Innovation Alliance, GAMIC provides early‐stage start‐ups with an opportunity for competition‐prep coaching and targeted exposure to decision‐makers.


Scott Miers is a Distinguished Teaching Award Finalist

Scott Miers
Scott Miers

The William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning seeks input for its annual Distinguished Teaching Awards, which recognize outstanding contributions to the instructional mission of the University.

Based on more than 50,000 student ratings of instruction responses, ten finalists have been identified for the 2017 awards. The selection committee is soliciting comments from students, staff, faculty and alumni to aid in deliberation.

Among the finalists in the Associate Professor/Professor Category is Scott Miers.

Comments on the nominees are due by Monday, March 20 and can be completed online.

The process for determining the Distinguished Teaching Award recipients from this list of finalists also involves the additional surveying of their spring classes.

The selection committee makes the final determination of the award recipients. The 2017 Distinguished Teaching Awards will be formally announced in May.

For more information, contact Nancy Seely at 7-1896.

By the William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning.


Funding for Brad King

L. Brad King
L. Brad King

L. Brad King (ME-EM) is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $19,372 research and development contract with the Utah State University Research Foundation.

This is a one-year project.

By Sponsored Programs.



Energy Conversion Poster Symposium

Wind TurbinesStudents from ME-EM 4200/5290 and 4201 “Principles of Energy Conversion” and “Intermediate Thermodynamics” presented the results of their semester-long projects on energy conversion from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on December 9, 2016, in MUB Commons.

Some topics investigated included:

  • Replacing UPPCO with off-shore wind power
  • Renewable and alternative residential backup power
  • Can you run your car on wood in the UP?
  • Off-grid hot water